UNDERSTANDING ATTORNEY FEES IN SOCIAL SECURITY CASES

Attorney fees in Social Security Disability and SSI cases are carefully controlled by Federal rules from the Social Security Administration. In general attorney fees for these cases are set, by Federal suggestion, at 25% of back-pay only (nothing from ongoing payments) with a cap that is updated periodically but currently set at $6,000.00. The lawyer gets no fee if you don't win but keep in mind that the fee does not include out of pocket expenses that the lawyer might charge you for regardless of whether you win. These expenses include things like the costs of geting medical records, fees charged by doctors for writing letters, postage, and other similar expenses.

There are exceptions. An attorney can petition Social Security to approve a higher fee if there was an unusually high amount of work involved and fees can be higher if the case has to be appealed into the Federal Court system. But for most cases being handled at either the application stage, the reconsideration stage, the administrative law judge hearing stage, or the appeals council stage, the above fee will be charged.